What to Look For When Buying a Record Player

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There’s nothing quite like the warm, nostalgic sound of music coming from a record player. Streaming services are convenient, but it’s the record player that many music lovers revere for the ultimate listening experience.

Over the years, innovations such as cassettes, CDs, and MP3s have replaced vinyl records as the go-to music format. But for many devoted music fans, the venerable record player is making a comeback—the atmospheric sound of vinyl records is undeniable.

Some people like the feeling of a vinyl record in hand. Others like the idea of placing the needle on the record. Yet others have an old record collection that they’d like to reacquaint themselves with.

If you’re among any of these groups, get ready to blow the dust off your vinyl collection and reclaim past memories.

Below we’ll tell you what you need to know when looking for a new record player.

Choose a Record Player With Premium Sound Quality

Sound quality is everything when it comes to music. One of the top reasons you most likely want to purchase a record player is to listen to the beautiful, warm sound that emanates from vinyl. With record players, the quality of the needle, or stylus, dictates the sound quality. This is because how the needle sits in the record grooves determines if the sound comes out crisp and clear or distorted.

So if it’s the sound quality you’re after, the handmade Pro-Ject Elemental vinyl record player comes with a premium Ortofon OM 5E stylus. It also features a built-in central gravity mass point, which steadies the tonearm—the arm that holds the cartridge that houses the needle—for even more stability and less vibration so that the stylus can do its thing.

The record player is remarkably simplistic, yet it delivers phenomenal sound. Also, setup is a breeze. The Pro-Ject Elemental vinyl record player is a truly plug-and-play product that is ready to rock the moment you unbox it.

Decide if You Want a Manual or Automatic Tonearm

When choosing a record player, you’ll also want to choose a tonearm that suits your taste. Do you like the idea of placing the needle at the beginning of the record? Or, do you prefer to push a button and watch the tonearm magically find its place. In the end, your choice here is all about personal preference.

There are three kinds of record player tonearms:

  • Automatic 
  • Semi-automatic
  • Manual

A fully automatic tonearm can place the needle on the record without your help. It can also move back to the beginning of the record on its own.

With a semi-automatic tonearm, you must put the needle on the record manually. However, it will return to the beginning of the record once it reaches the end. 

With a manual tonearm, you must put the needle on the record and move the needle back to the beginning of the record once it’s played to the end.

Think About if You’ll Want Music on the Go

If you want to take your vinyl party on the road sometimes, you’ll want to look for a record player that offers portability. The Crosley Radio Cruiser Plus Turntable is a competent, portable vinyl record player.

Its compact design makes it easy for you to move the turntable from room to room. You can even transport the device to a friend’s house or a party with ease.

Also, the Crosley Radio Cruiser Plus Turntable is available in a range of colors, including:

  • Chalkboard black
  • Floral
  • Indigo
  • Mint
  • Navy
  • Purple ash
  • Soft gold

With a wide variety of colors, you’re sure to find a stylish option to suit your tastes and mood.

The Crosley Radio Cruiser Plus Turntable also has Bluetooth connectivity. So, you can connect it to any Bluetooth speaker for a bigger sound.

Consider Bluetooth for Your Vinyl

Speaking of Bluetooth, this technology is another critical feature for today’s vinyl record players. You can get a record player with Bluetooth-in or Bluetooth-out technology.

Bluetooth-in record players receive audio signals, which means in addition to playing your records, you can stream music to the record player from your phone or other digital device. Bluetooth-in record players, like Crosley’s C62 Shelf System, give you the option to effectively turn your setup into a speaker.

With a Bluetooth-out record player, like the Audio Technica AT-LP60X vinyl record player, you can connect your record player to an external Bluetooth speaker, for example at a party, or when you want to play sound in multiple rooms.

Play Vinyl on Your PC With USB Connectivity

Even if you have a portable record player, you may not want to transport your records for fear of damaging them. This is where record players with USB connectivity come in.

A USB-capable record player lets you convert vinyl records into a digital audio file format (such as MP3). Then, you use a USB cable to connect the record player to your computer. This way your record collection is digitized and stored on your laptop or PC for you to listen to your vinyl digitally wherever you are. And this way you always have backups of your music collection if your records get damaged or lost.

For instance, the 1byone Hi-Fi Turntable Stereo enables you to digitize vinyl records into high-resolution digital audio files. It comes with the USB cable needed to transfer your vinyl records to a digital format.

Choose a Record Player to Suit Your Lifestyle

Now you know the basics of what to look for when buying a record player. All that’s left to do is choose your record player that fits your lifestyle and you can once again start enjoying your favorite tunes with that classic vinyl sound.